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2024 NFL Draft - Overvalued Prospects Who Could Slip on Draft Night

Brock Bowers - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers, NCAA College Football, Prospects

A few weeks ago, I was watching the 2007 NFL Draft. It was on the NFL's Pluto TV channel and I didn't have anything else to do, so I figured I'd turn it on. I was struck by two things. First, it's wild how far technology has come since 2007. They kept advertising that you could now watch short NFL videos on your flip phones.

The other thing was that everyone expected Brady Quinn to be an early pick, but he just kept dropping. A team would be on the clock and the announcers would talk about their need for a QB, how Quinn might be picked there, and then he wasn't. It turned out that the public valued him more than the NFL did and he fell all the way down to 22nd, where the Browns drafted him.

So, who could be this year's Brady Quinn? Let's take a look at a handful of 2024 prospects who might see themselves drop farther down the draft board than anticipated.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Brock Bowers - Tight End

Brock Bowers is an elite tight end prospect, someone who many see as one of the five best players in this class. However, positional value might see Bowers pushed deeper down the draft board than expected. It's very possible that this draft opens with four consecutive quarterbacks taken. At that point, there would still be three elite wide receivers on the board.

I imagine a lot of teams would rather build around an elite wideout than around an elite tight end. Sure, the Chiefs have shown you can win with a tight end as your No. 1 receiver, but that feels more like the exception that proves the rule. Unless you think Bowers will be Travis Kelce-level good, wouldn't you feel safer taking Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze before him?

Because while Bowers looks like a can't-miss prospect, he's still a tight end, and tight ends have a tough transition to the NFL because they're tasked with being both a receiver and lineman. Kyle Pitts was a can't-miss prospect a few years ago and he's had two disappointing seasons during his three-year career. I could see a few teams in the top 10 talking themselves out of Bowers and he could end up somewhere like the Broncos at pick 12 or Colts at pick 15.

 

Cooper DeJean - Cornerback

Injury concerns are a key thing that can push a player down the draft board, and that's what could end up hurting Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean the most here. A fractured fibula in November has introduced some doubt into DeJean.

One good thing about DeJean is that he can play both defensive backfield positions. One bad thing is that...well, he can play both. DeJean has a very versatile skill set, but does he lack the upside to excel at one particular one? Could he wind up as a really good rotational piece for a defense and not as one of the stars of a defense?

While a lot of people seem to think the Eagles at pick 22 would be very interested in DeJean, it's possible that the teams in the back half of the first round just have different positional needs right now than what DeJean offers. Maybe the 49ers at pick 31 could be a landing spot if he makes it past the Eagles, but if not, he could fall into the second round.

 

Adonai Mitchell - Wide Receiver

Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell has major speed and would be a great fit for a team that needs someone who can explode down the field. However, the 6-foot-2 wideout has shown some consistency issues and isn't as good at making big gains once the ball is in his hands as he is at making plays while the ball is still in the air.

In a normal wide receiver class, I'd expect Mitchell to be a first-round pick, but the presence of three elite prospects in this class -- plus Bowers at tight end -- really changes some of the calculus here. If a team or two early on that's expected to go with a receiver ends up not, then someone like BrIan Thomas Jr. could end up available a little later than expected. Then, there are guys like Mitchell's Texas teammate Xavier Worthy or Georgia's Ladd McConkey who bring a lot of upside and could end up going ahead of Mitchell just because every NFL team has different things that they value in young receivers.

 

Amarius Mims - Offensive Tackle

We simply don't know a ton about Amarius Mims. Buried on the Georgia depth chart for two seasons, Mims made just seven starts for the Bulldogs as he missed a chunk of the 2023 season with an ankle injury.

The size is there. He looks to have good quickness to help him protect the quarterback. On paper, Mims is exactly what you're looking for in a late first-round tackle prospect. He needs to clean some things up, but the makings of an elite tackle are there.

But phew, seven career starts. That's got to concern some teams. Mims is all potential at this point, and you've got to think at least a few NFL teams would be worried about using an early pick on a player without a ton of college experience.

 

Laiatu Latu - EDGE

USC edge-rusher Laiatu Latu could go in the top 10, but he's also the perfect candidate to slide because of injury concerns. Before he was at UCLA, Latu was at Washington, where he suffered a neck injury that was bad enough for the team doctors to conclude he should retire from football. That was in 2021.

Latu was healthy for both of his seasons with the Bruins, which allowed him to really excel. He's a powerful pass-rusher who has great size. You can easily envision him being one of the NFL's best defenders because he's good in all aspects of the game.

Still, being medically retired by the Washington coaching staff has to alarm some teams, right? Because of that, it wouldn't be a shock to see Latu tumble into the late first.



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